The decision by a lower court to overturn the Oklahoma governor’s ban on abortion has been upheld by a federal appeals court. Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made a unanimous ruling to allow abortions to continue in Oklahoma, overturning Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) ban on abortion as part of his executive order from March 27 halting all non-essential medical procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak. District Judge Charles Goodwin granted a temporary restraining order against the state’s ban on abortion earlier this month.
The president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, stated, “It’s time for Oklahoma and other states to stop exploiting the pandemic to shutdown clinics. Oklahoma’s true motive has never been more apparent. This has nothing to do with the current pandemic–it’s purely politics.”
Governor Stitt’s attempt to undermine women’s healthcare is being replicated across the country. Multiple governors have tried to include abortion as a non-essential procedure under executive orders that are aimed at freeing up medical equipment and resources. Abortion bans are being challenged in court by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
In Alabama, a district judge ruled Sunday that abortions must be allowed to continue in the state, and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio declined to hear an appeal from the Ohio Attorney General attempting to reverse a judge’s restraining order allowing abortions to proceed. Abortion advocates in Texas are taking their fight to the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal appeals court allowed the state to temporarily ban abortion.
Sources: New York Times, 4/13/20; The Hill, 4/13/20.